Mr. Tomlinson sat at the table in the First Class dining room, glancing around anxiously at the rich folk walking in and strutting around elegantly. Really, they were just as elegant and fancy as they always were aboard the floating palace of Titanic. He paid them no mind, however, as he looked for Louis among the entering people.
"Darling, have you happened to find our son by any chance?" he said to his wife, who was chatting with Miss Aubert. The French singer and mistress of Guggenheim was certainly a woman to look at. He really didn't know what made Louis agitated about her to begin with the first few days of their stay.
"No, I have not. I really have not the slightest idea what is in that boy's mind these last few days." Mrs. Tomlinson chuckled, patting the arm of her new female friend.
"Mr. Tomlinson, please excuse my intrusion into your familial life, but I have seen your son around for myself," the mistress said. "It was completely by accident, rest assured. I was simply in the right place at the right time."
Mr. Tomlinson instantly became interested in what she had to say, despite what she said before to his son's face. He didn't even remember those awkward dinner conversations as being caused by her, he just remembered Louis' inappropriate reactions to something she said.
Miss Aubert took a breath before explaining how she had noticed Louis' fatigue and general disconnection to anything around him. He was obviously tired, but from what? That explained his drinking the night before, explaining the fatigue and nauseated pallor. "First Class citizens never stay up so late as to look dead the morning after," she said.
Mrs. Tomlinson's face looked mortified, seeing the evidence of her son's unusual behaviour the day before. "Oh, my good gracious. No, Louis knows ten times better than to drink. And where on Earth would he obtain the . . .?"
Suddenly, she saw the truth. Mrs. Tomlinson pieced together the puzzle, and all of it showed on her face. Mr. Tomlinson picked up on her gradual quietness. "Johannah? What is it, my love?"
"He got it after Harry left," she whispered, while more connections established in her mind.
"Got what? Got what after Harry left?" her husband demanded.
"He must have followed Harry back to the lower decks after dinner, t-t-to . . ." She broke out in silent tears as the gravity of her son's misbehaviour weighed upon her shoulders.
"There, there, Johannah," the mistress said soothingly, stroking her arm as she wept into a handkerchief. "We mustn't get distraught, now."
"I am distraught," Johanna whimpered, "because of the consequences that would follow. And that they would tear Mr. Styles and Louis apart."
"Well, is that not our goal, mum?" Mark said to his wife. "Harry is a bad influence on our son."
"Mark, dear, art thou blind?" She smiled slightly. "When they do, Louis will be heartbroken. He will be heartbroken because we took away the only person he truly loves."
I never had such a great time in Third Class, even after my horridly hardy vegan lunch was over and the place was converted to a smoking room. I met Anne's husband on the way out of the dining hall and, dare I say, it was rather awkward and not very pleasant to be around him.
"So, my boy," he said loudly as he clasped Harry around the shoulders, "I'd've sworn on m'life that you were growing affectionate o' the woman in the cabin across from us."
I had to cover my ears as he practically guffawed in my face. Although, I did find that small piece of information quite humourous. No doubt that Harry would not have ever done that before meeting me, and being "infatuated" with me.